One goal in two games ...
Justin Kloos had an opportunity in the second period of Friday's 3-1 loss to score the same exact goal which won the Big Ten conference tournament against Michigan. Kloos skated into the slot, held the puck, skated around a defenseman and shot as he fell to the ice.
Against Michigan this went into the net. Against Minnesota Duluth? Kasimir Kaskisuo easily made the save.
That's been the case through two games. The lack of offense has festered to the point where when Brent Gates Jr. finally broke the goal drought a sense of relief went over the bench and arena. A goal was enough where the accomplishment overshadowed playing defense and Duluth went on to score, taking three attempts, on the ensuing shift.
"It was a really big step for our team to get the first goal of the year, but I mean the second shift after that is just as important after the goal," Gopher defenseman Michael Brodzinski said Friday. "They got a goal right after we went and scored our goal so it killed the fans, killed everybody on the bench. We need that momentum against a team like that."
Minnesota is looking to change momentum from the opening two losses and heading on the road, two-and-a-half hours away from Minneapolis
To avoid coming out dead like the opening two games, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia went through on his postgame prosime to completely restructure the top-9 against Minnesota Duluth at AMSOIL Arena. All three lines are different. No two players from Friday are on the same line. Vinni Lettieri gets his chance at center as Tyler Sheehy moves to wing.
There are no changes on defense. Jack Sadek and Curtis Simonson are still looking for their first start. Eric Schierhorn is listed first again, but we'll see who comes out first. Lucia mentioned wanting to play someone sooner rather than later, however, the freshman did enough over the first 40 minutes to earn a look at another start.
For UMD, head coach Scott Sandelin has made three changes. Billy Exell is out, replaced by Parker Mackay. On defense Carson Soucy returns from a one-game suspension to play on his normal pairing with Willie Raskob. Junior Brenden Kotyk is in as well.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Connor Reilly (#21) - Justin Kloos (#25) - Tyler Sheehy (#22)
Taylor Cammarata (#13) - Tommy Novak (#17) - Hudson Fasching (#24)
Brent Gates Jr (#10) - Vinni Lettieri (#19) - Leon Bristedt (#18)
A.J. Michaelson (#15) - Darian Romanko (#26) - Jack Ramsey (#16)
Nick Seeler (#11) - Ryan Collins (#6)
Jake Bischoff (#28) - Jack Glover (#3)
Steve Johnson (#4) - Michael Brodzinski (#20)
Eric Schierhorn (#37)
Nick Lehr (#34)
Brock Kautz (#1)
Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs
Adam Johnson (#25) - Dominic Toninato (#19) - Alex Iafallo (#14)
Austin Farley (#11) - Tony Cameranesi (#13) - Karson Kuhlman (#20)
Kyle Osterberg (#8) - Jared Thomas (#22) - Austyn Young (#23)
Charlie Sampair (#24) - Cal Decowski (#27) - Parker Mackay (#39)
Neal Pionk (#4) - Andy Welinski (#7)
Carson Soucy (#21) - Willie Raskob (#15)
Willie Corrin (#5) - Brenden Kotyk (#10)
Kasimir Kaskisuo (#33)
Matt McNeely (#36)
Nick Deery (#37)
Follow me on Twitter @gopherstate for live updates from Duluth. Tonight's game can be seen live on Fox Sports North.
There likely will be no postgame recap on here as I'm covering for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.